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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} A paramilitary is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, and which is not included as part of a state's formal armed forces.<ref name=Reference-OED-paramilitary>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

Under the law of war, a state may incorporate a paramilitary organization or armed agency (such as a national police or a private volunteer militia) into its combatant armed forces. The other parties to a conflict have to be notified thereof.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The use of the term paramilitary can be debated, but the general consensus being of a combatant force defined as neither military nor civilian. Organizations that have been described as paramilitary are as diverse as the Minutemen, youth groups (from scouting to the Pioneer movement), and even martially-themed boarding schools.

Though a paramilitary is not a military force, it is usually equivalent to a military's light infantry force in terms of intensity, firepower and organizational structure. A paramilitary may also commonly fall under the command of a military, even despite not being part of the military or play an assisting role for the military in times of war.
Paramilitary sections
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